IFWiki:Proposed upgrade of MediaWiki software in 2021-22

From IFWiki


I propose that our MediaWiki software (the software which powers IFWiki) be upgraded. Here are my reasons:

  1. It's currently on version 1.25, which was released on 25 May 2015 and is no longer maintained.
  2. There have been so many security fixes since that version that I abandoned my initial plan of listing them here. Here are links though: 1.26, 1.27, 1.28, 1.29, 1.30, 1.31, 1.32, 1.33, 1.34, 1.35.
  3. As always, the database and file structure would be backed up before the upgrade starts.
  4. The MediaWiki upgrade process is really robust. You could upgrade from MW 1.5 (released October 2005) to 1.35 in one step, so 1.25 to 1.35 would be no problem.
  5. Upgrading core MediaWiki should cause no knock-on problems:
    1. IFWiki only uses a few extensions: these are Replace Text, UserMerge, ParserFunctions, ConfirmEdit and SpamBlacklist. All of these are officially bundled with MediaWiki so compatible versions would be included with the new MW version.
    2. IFWiki uses the default skin (theme) so, again, an upgrade would not affect this.
    3. All dependencies are included in the MediaWiki tarball.
    4. All IFWiki page content is in the database, and all file uploads are in one "images" folder. An upgrade just affects the MediaWiki files but the old database and images folder are retained.
  6. Being on a later version would allow the use of more extensions. Often extensions don't support ancient versions. One that springs to mind is Page Forms, a well-established, stable extension, that gives the option of editing certain pages with data-entry forms.
  7. MW 1.35 bundles VisualEditor, the WYSIWYG editor that Wikipedia now uses. I'm used to wikitext so don't use it (it is optional) but it is more welcoming for many people.

It could be upgraded to 1.35 which is the long-term support version (released 25 September 2020, end of life September 2023). We probably wouldn't need to upgrade to the current stable version (released 18 November 2021, end of life November 2022), although that should be fine too.

Thanks. Jonathan (talk) 11:30, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Robin Johnson (talk) 11:52, 9 December 2021 (UTC)


The upgrade and server move took place on 4 January 2021 :-) Jonathan (talk) 23:36, 6 January 2022 (UTC)